דוקטורנטים מספרים - Yara Sa’di
The politics of urban renewal in divided historical neighborhoods
Supervisor: Prof. Tovi Fenster
I am Yara Sa’di, a Ph.D. student in the department of geography and human environment, and a member of the Planning for the Environment with Communities lab. My previous degrees were in cultural studies, psychology, and music. The journey between various fields of knowledge provided me with insights regarding conjunctions, overlaps, and the difference in emphasis between them, as well as an awareness of the politics, which lies behind the production of knowledge. Having this in mind, I chose to research for my Ph.D. thesis the politics of urban renewal of historical neighborhoods in Israel and the implications of these policies on the native residents, their collective memories, identities, etc.
Specifically, I investigate the current Israeli neoliberal urban renewal and planning policies in three cities: Jaffa, Haifa, and Jerusalem. The research employs a micro-geographical approach - ‘archaeology of the address’ method and draws on critical theories in exploring the meanings and resonance of such concepts as authenticity, ruins, landscape, and temporality, which are frequently employed in discussing urban renewal projects. I also tackle issues relating, among others, to colonial landscape production, the produced imaginary space around it, and modernist linear temporality and its contradictions. My research focuses on areas which are undergoing transformation and can be explored as open archeological sites, in which the various layers are visible, accessible, and could be examined.